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  /  Wrist   /  QL pain

QL pain

What is QL?

Quadratus Lumborum, known as QL, is the deepest abdominal muscle. It is situated on each side of the lumbar spine in the lower back. It begins at the bottom of your ribcage and extends to the top of your pelvis. The QL muscle is a key piece of the core. But because of its depth, the QL has a significant impact on the lumbar region of your low back.


What happens?

Long-term sitting has an effect on the vertebral stabilizer muscles, essentially turning them off. The QL takes up the role when these muscles are no longer helpful in supporting the spine and lower back. Overuse of the QL over time causes fatigue, tightness, reduced blood flow, and adhesions in the muscles. Although pain in the QL happens because it’s too tight, it can also be due to weakness in the muscles of the back and pelvic area.

Other potential causes of QL pain, also includes:

  • Leg length discrepancy: If one leg is shorter than the other, the pelvis may be higher on the side of the longer leg. The QL may shorten as a result of the pelvic tilt, which can put tension on the muscle.
  • Trauma: The QL can be strained by awkward or improper lifting of large things.


Symptoms of QL pain include tightness and discomfort in the lower back region, you may also experience:

  • Persistent intense painful discomfort, typically at rest and frequently when standing unsupported (sitting or standing).
  • Moving around in bed, standing up, and walking may increase the discomfort more.
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Coughing and sneezing might cause a sharp pain.

Physical therapy management

Stretching and releasing the QL muscle are key treatment. Also strengthening the core and back muscles is very essential. Other treatment modalities:

  • Dry needling
  • Manual trigger point therapy
  • Education on prevention
  • Self-treatment

In addition, since the Quadratus Lumborum pain falls under the category of lumbosacral back pain syndrome, numerous additional structures will be addressed during treatment (Hip flexors, gluteus muscle, and reeducation of trunk and hip exercises)

Pharmacological treatment

Painkillers and muscle relaxants may help lessen QL pain. Only use medication as prescribed since some of them might cause side effects like sleepiness, dry mouth, and fatigue.


What to do at home?

Here is a video that will show you simple exercises that you can do at home in order to release the tension from this muscle.

The video is general, and can sometimes do more harm than good, that’s why you should listen to your body and ask your therapist in case you are going through acute QL pain.

Our Instagram page contains more videos that you can also add to the exercises shown in this blog.

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Link 2:

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